It's been a difficult year to say the least, but these sorts of hardships certainly put the important things in perspective. With that in mind, we'll focus on the good and try to enjoy the experience for what it is: unique. And unique it has been.
By the time I was allowed across the border, summer was already at its peak up here in Opasquia.
In order to abide by the current travel and quarantine restrictions in Canada, I had to drive directly from the border crossing south of Winnipeg to the maintenance facility that works on our airplane. Don't pass go, don't collect two hundred dollars, no liquor store, no Mcdonalds either. Gary and Jenn with Riverside Maintenance were kind enough to arrange a "contactless" delivery and had XZK already in the water and fueled up, all I had to do was load my stuff up and we were off.
|Using what they could find, the MNR cobbled together a |
shelter for their sprinkler pumps. Sunset still good.
Tom with Sandy Lake Seaplane had stopped into Central once to check on camp and informed me of some bear damage. I was also aware of a fire that had started a few days earlier between the south side of Central and South Lake. I certainly wasn't expecting the rattle and hum of forest fire fighting sprinklers when I shut down the engine, however.
Unbeknownst to me, the Ministry of Natural Resources had spent the day setting up a sprinkler system as a precaution in case the fire turned north. In order to test the system and give everything a good soaking they left the pumps running. It was kind of like the 18th green at midnight gag I fell for years back - getting soaked as I stepped off the plane.
|On the water at Central|
Then onto the waiting. Staff was to join me soon, but I needed to finish off the conditions of my quarantine. So, I went about many of the opening activities around camp - at least the ones I could manage on my own: turning on the water, getting the power online, internet and office up, etc... According to my phone I walked 8 miles up and down the board walk here one of those days. It's a bizarre experience to be the only human in a wilderness the size of many small countries. Fortunately Gunner kept me company, however.
Maria and Pat (who hail from Saskatoon, SK and Markdale, ON respectively) were able to join me before too long and are settling in nicely. Since their arrival, we've been able to get to Cocos, Burnt, and South Lakes, with a fly-over at West.
One of the biggest tasks so far has been knocking down the grass which is waste high in places. It's taking a beating on the equipment and we are now on hold till we can get new parts from Red Lake.
We are also going to have a good project with the dock at Burnt. A combination of high water and shifting ice picked up the floating dock and deposited it on top of the crib / pier.
|The dock at Burnt had tough winter|
We have only been out fishing one evening so far, so the report is minimal. We spent an hour or two close to main camp and caught dinner plus a few more. The water is extremely high and the mayfly hatch extremely late - still many coming off at Cocos yesterday. For those who are West Lake aficionados, the rock right in front of camp appears to be completely under water and there is no shore left at Burnt either.
That's it for now. We'll be working away up here for awhile now. Like I said, we are really missing all of you!
We'll try to make the best of this, however, and I'll update again in another few weeks. Hopefully we'll make it out on the water a few times more between now and then. Wishing you all could join us.
Thanks for thinking Big Hook,